Sean T. McLaughlinPartner
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Sean McLaughlin is a litigation partner in the New Orleans office. As first-chair trial counsel, he has successfully tried bench and jury trials to conclusion in state courts, federal district courts, the United States Tax court, and the State of Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals. Sean has also argued appeals in state and federal courts. In addition, Sean has obtained numerous favorable rulings for clients on summary judgment. He has handled every level of trial advocacy, including voir dire, opening and closing statements, cross-examination of witnesses, Daubert challenges, and evidentiary hearings.
Sean has extensive subject matter experience in the areas of energy, maritime, and contracts. Sean primarily represents clients in litigation involving breach of contract, commercial lease disputes, tax controversies, high-exposure personal injury, and contractual indemnity/additional insured status. Sean practices in the energy, maritime, commercial litigation, and tax groups.
Sean is listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
- First-chaired state court bench trial in a commercial lease matter involving the tenant’s claim against the landlord for anticipatory breach and failure to honor an alleged renewal option; obtained a favorable ruling for our client; briefed and personally argued the appeal to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit and prevailed; obtained a denial of further review from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
- First-chaired United States Tax Court bench trial in a matter involving the propriety of the client taking a multimillion-dollar bad debt deduction; obtained a favorable ruling for our client.
- First-chaired state court bench trial for a matter related to the client’s alleged non-compliance with a local ordinance; obtained a favorable ruling for our client.
- First-chaired state court jury trial for a French Quarter business in a personal injury matter where the Plaintiff sought over $1,000,000 in damages.
- First-chaired state court jury trial for a premises owner in the New Orleans area in a personal injury matter where the Plaintiff alleged spoliation of evidence.
- First-chaired state court jury trial for our client, the plaintiff, in a construction contract dispute; obtained a favorable verdict and a substantial damages award.
- First-chaired Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals bench trial in a franchise tax matter involving base issues and sourcing issues; obtained seven-figure relief for our client.
- First-chaired state court trial in a matter involving conversion of business profits.
- Second-chaired federal court jury trial for a major energy company in a case involving a platform fatality and a new legal issue related to the extension of the LHWCA to the Outer Continental Shelf; briefed and personally argued the appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit.
- Second-chaired federal court bench trial for a maritime matter involving an engine failure on an offshore tug; obtained a full defense ruling.
- Second-chaired federal court bench trial for a commercial matter involving a rogue employee who committed fraud; obtained a full defense verdict.
- Second-chaired state court bench trial in a Jones Act matter where the plaintiff sought several million in alleged damages; obtained a full defense verdict.
- Third-chaired federal court bench trial in a maritime breach of contract matter.
- Third-chaired state court preliminary injunction hearing in a public bid law matter.
- Obtained a favorable ruling from the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals on summary judgment for our client in a matter involving tax credits.
- Obtained a favorable resolution of a tax dispute involving interest attribution for a large corporate client through the strategic use of motion practice.
- Obtained a settlement of over $1,000,000 for our client in a state court matter involving a claim for additional compensation to a governmental entity due to differing site conditions on a complex underwater construction project.
- Obtained a favorable ruling for our client regarding insurance coverage for an alleged major casualty (facility explosion) with several million in alleged damages.
- Obtained a summary dismissal for our energy company client in a Texas state court matter involving alleged brain injuries.
- Obtained summary judgment in a Texas federal court matter in a commercial lease dispute involving Puerto Rican law.
- Successfully defended the removal of an asbestos matter to federal court under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for our major energy company client.
- Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims for our energy company client in an offshore personal injury matter based upon the applicability of Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
- Successfully expanded the scope of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act removal jurisdiction to a matter involving alleged asbestos exposure on a non-OCSLA situs.
- Obtained summary dismissal of the subrogated insurer’s federal court claims against our construction client in a commercial property damages matter.
- Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against our client by utilizing the prior settlement agreement and order entered in a related LHWCA proceedings and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
- Obtained indemnity for our client via summary judgment in an offshore personal injury matter involving several million dollars of alleged damages by successfully arguing that the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act did not nullify the indemnity obligation because the contract did not “pertain to a well.”
- Obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims for non-pecuniary damages in a case arising out of the sinking of a pleasure yacht.
- Obtained summary dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against our client in an offshore personal injury matter. The matter subsequently went to trial against another defendant and the plaintiff was awarded over $4,000,000.
- Successfully defended our client’s title to a vessel by obtaining summary dismissal of the other alleged owner’s claim and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
- Obtained summary judgment for our national transportation company client finding that the public body violated the Louisiana public integrity statutes and was therefore liable for attorney’s fees and defended same to the United States Fifth Circuit.
- Representation of marine and energy companies in personal injury and contractual matters
- Representation of energy companies in matters regarding the scope and extent of their obligations under leases and operating agreements, including abandonment and decommissioning liabilities
- Representation of clients in matters involving the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), including removal and jurisdictional issues and application of its choice of law provisions
- Representation of taxpayers in litigation before the United States Tax Court, the State of Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals, Louisiana state courts, and other tribunals
- Representation of clients in matters involving their obligation to provide or right to obtain indemnity or insurance in complex commercial and personal injury matters
- Representation of clients in matters involving the potential application of the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act, the Louisiana Construction Anti-Indemnity Act, and the Texas Anti-Indemnity Act, and the various exceptions to same
- Representation of clients in matters related to the Longshore and Harbors Workers Compensation Act
- Representation of claimants to the United States Coast Guard Oil Spill Liability Fund seeking reimbursement for statutory removal expenses
- Representation of contractors and governmental entities in matters involving statutory immunities and public projects
- Representation of clients in challenges to contract awards under the Louisiana Public Bid Law and federal law
- Representation of clients in construction lien matters, including claims under the Miller Act and Louisiana law
- Representation of clients in matters involving differing site conditions and claims for additional compensation
- Representation of clients in contract disputes with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
- Representation of clients in contract disputes before the United States Governmental Accountability Office (GAO)
- Representation of clients in commercial lease disputes
Sean earned his B.A. in Sociology from Louisiana State University in 2005. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2008 from the LSU Law Center where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Louisiana Law Review. During law school, Sean clerked for the Louisiana Department of Justice and the Legislative Bureau of the Louisiana Senate. In addition, Sean also externed with the Honorable Judge James J. Brady of the United States Middle District Court.
- Admitted, Louisiana, 2008; United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, 2008; United States Tax Court, 2017; United States Supreme Court
- New Orleans, Louisiana State and Federal Bar Associations
- Fifth Circuit Rules that "Snap Removal" of Cases to Federal Court is Proper, Louisiana Law Blog, April 7, 2020
- Lawsuit filed over Sunshine Bridge crash, closure; centuries-old rule could make it 'uphill battle', The Advocate, October 18, 2018
- U.S. 5th Circuit Rules in Favor of Employer on Liability for LHWCA Benefits Following Offshore Accident, Louisiana Law Blog, March 22, 2016
- U.S. 5th Circuit Decision Revives $400 Million Lawsuit Based on Choice of Law Issue, Louisiana Law Blog, March 9, 2016
- Because of Revisions to 28 U.S.C. Section 1441, Several District Courts Have Concluded That General Maritime Law Claims Can Be Removed to Federal Court Without an Independent Basis of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Louisiana Law Blog, December 2013
- Recent Developments in Louisiana Public Bid Law and Louisiana Public Records Law, Louisiana City Attorneys Association Spring CLE, March 15, 2013
- Does the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act Affect the Calculation of Overriding Royalties? The U.S. Fifth Circuit May Decide This Issue Soon, Louisiana Law Blog, November 2012
- U.S. Fifth Circuit Rules that a Seller Who Knowingly Fails to Disclose a Title Defect is in "Bad Faith" and Liability for the Buyer's Damages and Attorneys' Fees, Louisiana Law Blog, February 2012
- A Recent U.S. Fifth Circuit Decision Shows the Importance of Including a Release of "Any and All Claims" in a Settlement Agreement, Louisiana Law Blog, January 2011
- Structuring the Purchase of a Vessel Through a Corporate Entity for Tax Purposes Can Have Unintended Consequences, Louisiana Law Blog, August 2010
- A Jones Act Seaman Does Not Have Greater Remedies Against A Non-Employer Than He Does Against His Employer, Louisiana Law Blog, May 2010
- Past Member, Race Judicata Planning Committee
- Past Mentor, College Admission Project